Eve Knew What She Was Doing By Salma Deera

Eve Knew What She Was Doing

What no one mentions is that Eve was a storyteller—storymaker.
they said that God made woman naturally curious—
they don’t mention that Eve discovered her thighs
before adam could discover his hands—doesn’t that tell you something?
When Adam discovered his thighs, Eve discovered what was
between hers.
Adam discovered his manhood while Eve discovered magic.
Adam wandered the gardens looking for god—
Eve wondered about god—Eve played with god.
She discovered disgust, she discovered wanting,
taking, hoarding, stealing, loving.
This is Eve in her hidden glory—
The Eve who you have never heard of—
This is the Eve who didn’t need a snake to eat the apple—
This is the Eve who cried. “there was no snake, it was all me.”
when the men started writing their own versions.
This is the Eve who didn’t care if Adam ate it or not.
This is the Eve who longed for something more than Adam.
Imagine people knew that Eve did not fall prey to sin.
Imagine people knew that she was the predator.
Imagine we found out that Eve knew what she was doing.
Imagine how dangerous that would be.

By Salma Deera

Biography:

Salma Deera is a Kenyan born poet of Bavanese descent. She is based in London and is an English Literature graduate. Her first poetry collection, Letters from Medea, was published in October.

is this how orpheus felt? By Alice van Duuren

is this how orpheus felt?

is this how orpheus felt?
i know she is gone
i have seen it with my own eyes
felt it with my very soul
in the coldness
in the emptiness
as if the gods has reached out and plucked the sun
expecting the nearby stars to compensate for her absence
because she is gone, gone like the wild thing she is
was

she was an addict
alcohol, pills, you name it, she did it
arms a line of scars and a personality of extremes
my eurydice
she was tortured and it wasn’t beautiful at all
each addiction and demon chased her relentlessly
day after day after day
poisoning her
dragging her to the very hell

recovery was the moment of hope
a kindness from the gods, one could say
i was tentative with my joy
the gods had been kind in this way before
but i was a child
and as tentative as i was
my hope filled my whole soul

and how did it end?
my eurydice faltered
she tripped and fell, scraped her knees
but i kept my faith, kept it like all children try
i smiled and cleaned the cans away
i told her not to wash the pills down with her beer
i danced with her when she was happy
and kept my distance when she was mad, so that later she would not regret bruises she saw on my skin

thump!

she was gone before i turned around
orpheus at least got a glance before death took his love
me? i have a noise
thump! thump! thump!
gods, just tell me
it’s the least you can do for stealing away my sun
is this how orpheus felt?
is it?

By Alice van Duuren

Biography:

Alice van Duuren is a nonbinary writer who used to hate both reading and poetry. Admittedly they were 13 at the time and hated just about everything. Since then, they have studied English Literature, Tourism, and Screen Production and in 2016 will at last be studying Creative Writing. In their free time, Alice likes to daydream about dragons, cuddle with cats and dogs, and have ice cream for breakfast more than they probably should. Based in New Zealand, they are proud of say they live with both a cat and a dog. Whether the cat and dog are proud to be living with them is still up for discussion.

Promotional Tour for My Crippling Depression By Katherine Fletcher

Promotional Tour for My Crippling Depression

pack your things, it’s time
to hit the road.
you’re good at running away
so this should be easy,
but please don’t make this harder
by thinking you need to stay.
you don’t need to stay.

you really don’t need to stay.

there’s nothing left for you,
you spent months burning bridges
because you know,
even on the surface of yourself,
that you have to do this.

keep packing:
too many pills,
not enough socks,
no hesitation.
first stop is home.

only for a little while.
only until you can’t breathe.

it’s been so long
that sometimes you forget that
home is where you cracked
like the goddamn liberty bell:
the beginning of your revolution.
ever since then it’s been hairline fractures
you could never outrun.

home is a lot of things now.

it’s long sleeves and longer nights.
show your scars like help wanted signs
even though help is the last thing
you’d ever ask for.
people will line up to run their fingers
down your arms,
across your wrists,
over every ripped seam of your broken body.

take the time to unlearn the sidewalks.
pull yourself from their cracks while you’re there,
you might as well.
it’s time you got out for good –

head north and cross the highway without looking.
let the cold be stronger than you,
let it remind you
that every part of you must be felt,
that you’re still human;
so, so human.
leave blood and love
behind you like breadcrumbs.
don’t let yourself find comfort.

be a face on crowded streets
and through bus windows
but never at the dinner table.
head west on the day
the cashier at the corner store
remembers your name.

don’t realize it’s your birthday
until you’re five miles out
and four drinks in.

try to beat the sun to the horizon
and rest in a place that reminds you of
your mother’s eyes and
your father’s hands and
her smile.
you’re going to find places
that remind you of people
because you’ve always felt safer
with a rib cage or a gap-toothed smile
than bare walls or spare keys.

stand on street corners
advertising your bleeding heart
and hand out pieces of paper
covered in the names of people
who you think ruined you.

walk into the ocean
in your best shirt and pants,
your best “meeting the parents” outfit,
your pockets filled with
rejection letters (five),
love notes (sixty-two), and
drug store receipts (eighty-nine).
people are going to stare
and you’re going to let them.

even though they didn’t buy tickets for this show
they eat up your act,
this unnatural disaster.
swallow mouthfuls of seawater
to keep yourself from
giving these strangers parts of you;

just dig your toes into the sand
and think about drowning.
think about swallowing a grenade,
lying down on the train tracks,
stepping over the railing of a fourth floor hotel balcony.
drag yourself from the freezing water
because you weren’t made
to let the riptide take you.

they’re all talking about you now,
coast to coast.
they’ve seen you crumble
in all the most horrifying ways.

isn’t this what you wanted?

to make a name for yourself
outside the class rosters
and therapists’ records,
something bigger than a byline
but safer than an obituary.
you’ve done what you left to do
and it’s probably the first time in months
where you’ve seen something through to the end.

does it feel any better now?

it doesn’t matter which ocean you call home
or what skies saw your breakdown
or what state you go back to.
all you’ve done is leave a stomach of broken glass
and a heart of barbed wire
in no man’s land.

you’re waiting for no one at an airport terminal.
you’re calling yourself a cab.
you’re arriving home to a dark house.
you’re sleeping alone.

you’re sleeping alone.

By Katherine Fletcher

Biography:

Katherine Fletcher is a sophomore English Education major at Syracuse University. Her work has previously been featured in the university publications Jerk Magazine and Perceptions as well as the literary magazine Persephone’s Daughters. The titles of the submitted pieces are “Promotional Tour for My Crippling Depression”, “Depression Is A Bad Tenant”, “apocalypse”, and “What Brought Me Here (told in seven parts).”

 

Queering the Devil By Alex Lenkei

Queering the Devil

I have a theory
that Lucifer
being kicked out of heaven
is no different than a father
who kicks out his son
because he’s queer.
That his rebellion is really
a shout for equality,
and his war against God
is a Pride Parade gone wrong.
That in his wrath,
God made pride and lust a sin,
banned respect
and dignity
and all but one kind of desire.
That God knew what he was doing
when he called his son the “Devil”
because blaming the victim for their abuse
is the oldest trick in the book.

I have a theory
that losing your wings
is like losing your straightness—
first you fall, and then you rise.

When Lucifer fell from heaven,
he didn’t know that being abandoned
was the best thing for him,
that he could rebuild his pride on earth
into a cathedral of queer desire.

He didn’t know that when
God made pride a sin
we would take it back.

By Alex Lenkei

Biography:

Alex Lenkei is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC, with a Bachelor’s degree in Literature. His work has been published in Words Dance Publishing, Vagabond City, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and Sun & Sandstone. His writing emphasizes themes of language, silence, solitude, and human connection. He also collects typewriters. More of his work can be found at typewriterdaily.tumblr.com

I came from the West By Andrew Herm

I came from the West

I came from the West
to the forest my people
crawled out of
before they skipped across
the ocean for freedom
and racism and wealth
gaps and thigh gaps
and stars and stripes
and bars and all that
ain’t that grand old flag
waving over fields of grain
and greyed out HDTVs
from last week in the junkyard
in the front yard
in the forest where I found
classicism and classism
and old roots run deep
but not deep enough
to hide from the seeds that fall
from the boughs of the trees
we have back West
where they reach over the sea
and drop me into my past

By Andrew Herm

Biography:

Andrew is an American teaching English to Germans in Hannover. He received a BA in literature at a small college, an MA in the Humanities at a big university, and then cycled over the Alps and decided to stay in Europe. He is currently attempting to find a moral compass; he also enjoys riding his bike through the Eilenriede, re-reading Lord of the Rings, and has a tattoo of the Deathly Hallows on his forearm, which people seem to either enjoy or make fun of. 

LOVE SONGS TO SIMALOI By N.L. Shompole

LOVE SONGS TO SIMALOI

1
When my mother spoke of war heroes,
She told us about men like our neighbor
Abraham, (who spoke to the shadows at sunset)
who feared sleeping in a dark room
men the revolution swallowed whole.

She told us of their lion hearted bravery,
how they slid into the night
leaving behind all their belongings
to return the voice that was stolen from us
while nations battered with land
that did not belong to their ancestors,
bright eyed, teeth barring
Abraham, the noble hearted
she called him.

2
Sometimes, early in the morning
I could hear him sing
a three song melody to his beloved
drowned in half a bottle of whiskey
before noon.

He sang of memories long forgotten
that came alive in his dreams
her name a prayer in the dead of night
whispered to chase away the terrors.

3
Years later I found an old photograph,
my mother smiling into the sun
standing next to a brown skinned man
whiskey eyes crinkled / filled with laughter
on the back in fluid script it read,
Abraham and his beloved.

By N.L. Shompole

Biography:

N.L. Shompole was born in Kenya and currently lives, works and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area California. Her previous works have been featured in Maps for Teeth, Kinfolks Quarterly, Invitation Annual and most recently Words Dance Publishing as well as Vagabond City Literary Journal. She has authored four poetry collections including one chapbook Cassiopeia at Midnight and Anatomy of Surrender, a compilation of poems from a yearlong poetry project completed in December 2014. Her latest collection Spectre Specter Blue Ravine was released November 2015 to spectacular reviews.

She can be reached at NLShompole@gmail.com

Or via

Website// Kingdomsinthewild.com
Goodreads // Goodreads.com/nlshompole
Instagram// NLShompole
Twitter // Luciasolaris

 

LETTER TO MY GRANDMOTHER By Natalie Wee

LETTER TO MY GRANDMOTHER

Ahma, I’m sorry
for long walks into the ocean
& my knees ground in rush
hour traffic. It’s just that
my body is not a body
but regret
wrapped up in skin.
Papa’s anger is baby teeth
I’ll never grow out of.
Sometimes I want
sharp tools
to fix myself for good.

Ahma, you are
the most beautiful part
of my bad blood.
All you lived through
only left you kind.
I am the shadow of
every man
who has hurt
every woman
in this family.

Ahma, I wear
sadness like a birthright.
It is a method of survival.
I see his fists on every boy
with hands.
Only grief keeps me safe:
no one expects to touch
so much of it
and live.

By Natalie Wee

Biography:

Natalie Wee is the author of Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines (Words Dance Publishing, 2016). Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Prairie Schooner, The Adroit Journal, and more. She has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and two Pushcart Prizes.